Monday, March 4, 2013

Burlison v. Springfield Public Schools[1]

Opinion handed down March 4, 2013

Mellony and Douglas Burlison, on behalf of their son, C.M., filed an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Article I, Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution, alleging that Springfield Public Schools (the “District”) along with school and law enforcement officials violated C.M.'s constitutional rights by searching and seizing his backpack during a drug dog visit to C.M.’s school.[2]  The Burlisons sought a permanent injunction, actual and nominal damages, attorney fees, and other relief.[3]  The District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants, concluding that the policies used during the drug dog exercise were reasonable and not a deprivation of any federal rights.[4]  On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed.[5]